Ursinus College Catalog
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Gender and Women’s Studies
Professors Dole, E. Dawley, Hemphill, Lionarons, Oboler and Trout; Associate Professors Evans (Coordinator), Florka
Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary minor which places the study of women and gender at the center of the curriculum. It is designed to include a cross-cultural perspective in an examination of the experiences and contributions of women, as well as to explore the challenges and limitations due to gender.
Requirements for Minors
A minor concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies consists of 16 credits. All students must take GWMS-200, Gender and Women’s Studies. The remaining credits must come from the following courses and at least two different departments: GWMS/ANTH-225, GWMS/SOC-227, GWMS/SOC-263, GWMS/EDUC-402, GWMS/ENGL-228, GWMS/ESS-301, GWMS/HIST-301, GWMS/HIST-302, GWMS/HIST-328, GWMS/HIST-366, GWMS-381, or GWMS-382. Students may apply only one course from their major toward this minor. (Credit for only one internship, either GWMS-381 or GWMS-382, counts toward the minor.) Seminars, special topics courses, and up to four credits of independent study projects above the 100 level which deal with Gender and Women’s Studies may be substituted for the courses listed above with the approval of the course instructor and the coordinator of Gender and Women’s Studies.
GWMS-200. Gender and Women’s Studies Faculty
An interdisciplinary course to promote an awareness and understanding of women’s and men’s potential and options in our society. Readings in feminist theory, films, novels, and discussion of the history of the women’s movement, race, sex and gender, and the roles of men in society. Emphasis on women and religion. Open to freshmen. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (D)
GWMS/ANTH-225. Gender and Kinship Cross-Culturally Dr. Gallagher, Dr. Oboler
The structure of sex and gender roles has important implications for marriage, the family, and kinship in all societies. This course examines sex and gender roles, sexuality, mate selection, marriage customs, divorce, childbearing, parenting, spousal and other kin relations, across the spectrum of world cultures. Prerequisite: any 100-level course in anthropology and sociology or written permission of the instructor. (SS.)
GWMS/SOC-227. Marriage and the Family Dr. Oboler, Dr. Gallagher
This course examines transitions, continuity, and variations in marriages and families in the 20th century United States, with some historical, cross-cultural, and cross-national comparisons. The implications of shifts in public policy for “traditional’’ and non-traditional families are considered, as well as possible and probable future change in family patterns. Prerequisite: ANTH-100 or SOC-100 or written permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)
GWMS/ENGL-228. Women’s Literature Dr Dole, Dr. Lionarons, Dr. Schroeder
A cross-period study of literature by British and American women, paying attention to issues of canon formation and feminist literary theory. Prerequisite: CIE-100. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H.)
GWMS/SOC-263. Gender in Contemporary Society Faculty
After initial examination of the causes of sex differences, focus is placed on the modern American sex/gender role system: socialization and education; economic, political, religious, and family roles; sexual inequality; and gender-based public policy issues. Some cross-cultural and cross-national comparisons are made. Prerequisite: ANTH-100 or SOC-100 or written permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)
GWMS/SOC-264. Gender, Race and Work Faculty
This course examines the intersection of race and class relations as they affect the work trajectories and experiences of women in the United States. According to various social indicators, women and their children remain disproportionately poor, and many women are undereducated and unemployed. These facts have led some social scientists to posit that poor women and children in the U.S. are becoming a seemingly permanent urban underclass. This course explores the way in which the intersection of systems of social organization (race, class, work and gender) operates as a “containment field” so that certain workers do not have legitimate access to power. Prerequisite: any 100-level course in Anthropology or Sociology, or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)
GWMS/HIST-301. Chivalry: Violence, Gender and Religion Dr. Throop
This interdisciplinary course explores the origins and evolution of the medieval concept of chivalry in western Europe from circa 1100 to 1500. In particular, the function of violence, gender identity, and religion will all be considered in the broader context of chivalric culture, culminating in an evaluation of the trial of Joan of Arc. Students will further consider why the tensions inherent in chivalry have proved to be so persistent and popular in modern culture. Readings will include primary source documents and secondary texts, and the course will include film analysis and independent research. Three hours per week. Four credit hours. (H.)
GWMS/HIST-302. Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe Dr. Throop
What did it mean to be a man or a woman in the Middle Ages, and what did it mean to ‘have sex’? How were ideas about gender expressed sexually, and how did ideas about various sexual activities impact gender relations? Beginning with medieval ideas about anatomy and physiology, Biblical themes and the Roman-Germanic legacy, this course will consider the kinds of gender relations—and sexual relations—that were encouraged, allowed, or prohibited, including marriage, same-sex relations, rape, cross-dressing, contraception, castration, and prostitution. Readings will include primary source documents and secondary texts, and the course will include independent research. Three hours per week. Four credit hours. (H.)
GWMS/HIST-328. Women in American History Dr. Hemphill
An examination of the changing experience of American women from colonial times to the present. The focus of this course will be the interaction of that experience with ideal roles for women in the realms of family, religion, politics, economics, and social life. Attention will also be paid to the interaction of gender with the variables of class, race, ethnicity, and region. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H.)
GWMS/HIST-366. History of the Family Dr. Hemphill
A survey of the changing structure and function of the family in Europe and America from 1500 to the present. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between changes in the family and changes in the wider society; the family as the locus for changing gender and age relations; and the variations in family forms dictated by class, race, ethnicity, religion, and region. Three hours per week of lectures and discussion. Four semester hours.
GWMS-370. Research-Independent Study Faculty
Directed readings and research on a topic in Gender and Women’s Studies. A student wishing to register for this course must present to a member of the faculty a proposal outlining research to be completed, and submit the instructor’s written agreement to supervise the project to the chair of the GWMS Advisory council. Prerequisites: GWMS-200 and status as a GWMS minor. Four semester hours. (I.)
GWMS/ART-373. Feminism and Gender in Art and Art History Dr. Barkun
This course investigates the influence of political, activist, and scholarly developments in feminist and gender theory on artistic practice and the discipline of art history. Course material explores how feminist consciousness and theories of gender have led artists, critics, and theorists to innovative representational strategies and to challenge, revise, and reinterpret art historical narrative. In the process, the course focuses on how such interventions alter the stories that artists and scholars tell. Prerequisite: ART-160, 290W, 371, or 372; or permission of the instructor. Four semester hours. (A, D.)
GWMS-375. Readings in Gender and Women’s Studies Faculty
In this directed readings course a student can further develop an interest begun in another course or explore an interest within the field of Gender and Women’s Studies not otherwise covered in the curriculum. A student may do independent readings with any member of the GWMS faculty, but must submit in advance the instructor’s written agreement to supervise the project to the GWMS Advisory Council. Prerequisite: GWMS-200. Two semester hours.
GWMS-381. Internship Faculty
An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact the Gender and Women’s Studies Advisory Committee Chair for further details. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: GWMS-200 and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Three semester hours.
GWMS-382. Internship Faculty
An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact the Gender and Women’s Studies Advisory Committee Chair for further details. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: GWMS-200 and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)
GWMS/EDUC-402. Identity and Diversity Faculty
An examination of privileges and challenges that come with our roles as individuals and as members of various groups, chosen and unchosen. The course will explore how individual educational experiences are shaped and structured by sociological and historical contexts, especially among individuals who have considered themselves outsiders in terms of race, social class, gender, and/or educational status. Prerequisite: EDUC-210 or permission of instructor.. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D.)
GWMS-491W. Honors Research/Independent Work Faculty
This course is open to candidates for honors. Work should be comprised of an independent project that employs research methods in GWMS. Prerequisite: Status as a GWMS major and permission of the GWMS Advisory Council. Four semester hours. (I.)
GWMS-492W. Research/Independent Work Faculty
Continuation of GWMS-491. Four semester hours. (I.)